Statutes are the written laws passed by a legislature, such as the U.S. Congress or the Illinois General Assembly. When a law is passed by a legislature and signed by the executive (i.e., the President of the United States or the governor of a state) it is known as a Public Law at the federal level or a Public Act in Illinois.
Public Laws or Acts are then compiled and integrated with the other laws of that jurisdiction into sets of laws arranged by subject, most often called codes. The compiled set of laws passed by the U.S. Congress is called the United States Code and the full body of laws passed by the Illinois General Assembly is collected in the Illinois Compiled Statutes.
For example, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act was initially passed as Pub. L. 111-148. The Act was then compiled into the U.S. Code, with most sections of the Act being added to Title 42 of the U.S. Code relating to The Public Health And Welfare and some sections being added to Title 26 on the Internal Revenue Code. The Popular Name Table is a tool that describes where a Public Law is codified in the U.S. Code.
For current, annotated federal and state statutory codes, use Westlaw Edge and Lexis Advance. Recall that annotated codes include not only the statutory text, but also citing references and Notes of Decisions (Westlaw Edge) or Case Notes (Lexis Advance).
The full-text of the U.S. Code (unannotated) is also available on:
State statutory codes (unannotated) are also available on the websites of state legislatures, accessible via a Google search.
No matter what strategy you use to find a section, use the table of contents to browse nearby sections
Created by the Uniform Law Commission (ULC). See https://www.uniformlaws.org for both the text of acts and enactment status in specific jurisdictions.
Uniform Laws Annotated is available on Westlaw Edge. It contains the text of uniform laws, annotations, and information about adoption by states, including citations to state codes.